Banks Board $1.675 Bln Health Care Credit

  • 07 Jan 2001
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Merrill Lynch has brought a throng of relationship banks into its $1.675 billion credit backing Triad Hospitals' $2.4 billion acquisition of Quorum Health Group. Bank of America, which took on half the loan, has signed on as co-lead arranger and co-book runner, as well as administrative agent. J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup have signed on as co-documentation agents, with each firm hauling $150 million. Senior managing agents include Credit Lyonnais, First Union, FleetBoston Financial, Bank of Nova Scotia and GE Capital, and each bank committed $125 million. UBS Warburg signed on as managing agent, kicking in $65 million.

The banks all signed commitment letters before year-end this past December, according to a banker tracking the credit. General syndication has been tentatively set for early February, after the loan is rated. Triad could earn a BB rating, the banker said. Standard & Poor's affirmed the company's B+ corporate credit and bank loan rating in October last year.

The credit breaks down into a $250 million, six-year revolver, a $400 million, six-year term loan "A," a $225 million, two-year asset-sale facility, a $250 million, seven-year term loan "B" and a $250 million, seven-and-a-half year term loan "C." Pro rata pricing and the asset-sale facility ring in at 3% over LIBOR, with a commitment of 1/2% on the revolver. The "B" and "C" tranches are priced at 31/2% and 33/4% over LIBOR, respectively.

Merrill has also underwritten a $300 million senior unsecured bridge facility that will be taken out with senior notes in the high-yield debt market. The bridge loan matures one year after initial funding. Pricing is 51/2% over LIBOR for the first three months, 6% over LIBOR for the next three months, 7% over LIBOR for the following three months and 8% over LIBOR for the last quarter. Triad is not expected to drawn down on it, according to an official familiar with the deal.

Triad Hospitals, based in Dallas, owns and manages hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers located in urban markets throughout Southwestern, Western and South Central United States. Quorum, based in Brentwood, Tenn., is a spin-off of HCA and operates hospitals through joint ventures. Bank officials and a spokeswoman at Triad did not return calls seeking comment.

  • 07 Jan 2001

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